15 November 2018
20 August 2018
“Live to Flourish: The Science and Practice of Positive Psychology”
CUHK Launches New Course to Help Students Build Character Strengths and Boost Resilience


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has always puts emphasis and resources on students’ all-round development and will launch a new credit-bearing elective course, “Live to Flourish: The Science and Practice of Positive Psychology” in the 2018/19 academic year. The course will aim to help students building a positive attitude towards life and to strengthen their resilience and problem-solving ability through identifying their own virtues and strengths.

Credit-bearing General Education Course Equips Students with Both Theoretical Knowledge and Practical Skills

Jointly offered by CUHK Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Science and CUHK General Education, “Live to Flourish: The Science and Practice of Positive Psychology” is a 2-credit elective course open to all undergraduate students. Course instructors are clinical psychologists. The course consists of a weekly one-hour lecture plus one-hour tutorial. Apart from learning the theory and science of positive psychology in class, students are required to complete some simple exercises in daily life, involving behavioral habits, thinking pattern and interpersonal relationships. Through practicing, and reflecting on what they have learned, the course hopes that students will be guided to develop new habits and build positive emotions. The first intake will be in September 2018 with a quota of 80 and will increase to 160 in the second semester. It is expected that more places will be offered in the future. 

Prof. Patrick W.L. Leung, Professor of the Department of Psychology said, “Positive psychology has been receiving growing attention over the last couple of decades. Empirical evidence has shown that people who harbour positive emotions achieve better life outcomes including but not limited to physical and mental health, work performance, supportive relationships, and effective coping. In the new course, students learn practical behavioural, cognitive and social skills that increase their positive emotions, and they learn to identify and activate their own virtues and strengths in their daily life. These skills will help our students build confidence, flexibility and resilience that enable them to rise above the challenges they may face in life.”

“Live to Flourish: The Science and Practice of Positive Psychology” is an evidence-based course developed from studies and research findings in positive psychology, with the tested theoretical framework of the Penn Resilience Programme (PRP) as the core component. PRP is widely applied in schools around the world and has proved to be effective in increasing optimism and well-being. It also reduces the sense of hopelessness among students, expands their problem-solving ability and leads to better physical and mental health. 

(From Left) Prof. Patrick W.L. Leung, Professor of the Department of Psychology, Ms Anita Lee and Ms Debbie Pong, Clinical Psychologists.